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Jittery guide: style manual

Can the question text be multi-part?

Avoid multi-question, multi-sentence or multi-segment question text.

Avoid asking two questions in the question text (eg 'Is the sky blue? Why is it blue?'). Create a second Q&A if necessary, if there is truly another question that needs included with the topic. Otherwise try to find a different formulation for the question that condenses it all down to one question for simplicity purposes.

Avoid mixing a statement sentence with a question sentence when creating a Q&A (eg 'Time is of the essence. What is time?').

Does the question text always have to end with a single question mark?

Yes, the question part of a question & answer should always end with a single question mark.

Avoid using interrobangs, or ending a question text with an exclamation mark followed by a question mark.

How should references be formatted?

Typical references should be in this format:

Text body | Author, Source | Date

Do not editorialize the text body. For example if you reference a Washington Post story from their website, use their story title. There may be rare occasions when it's necessary to expand on or create a text body for a reference, always seek to remain neutral with the text you use for that purpose (eg do not create clickbait text for references or place opinions into that space); describe the referenced content, rather than opining.

Text body should never be all uppercase.

References do not have to include links, for example when referencing a book. If you include a link, only link the text body; do not link the author, source or date sections.

Author names should almost always be capitalized. Sources vary on case, capitalized is most common.

The date should be formatted like so: December 7, 2020. Capitalize the month and spell it out fully. No leading zero on the day. Full year, eg 1920 (not '20).

Are there examples of various reference types?

Some common examples -

· Web articles (link the body text to the website):

FedEx is hiring 70,000 workers to meet holiday season demand | Jazmin Goodwin, CNN.com | September 14, 2020

The PlayStation 5 vs. the Xbox Series X and Series S | Kris Naudus, Engadget | September 16, 2020

· Tweets (link the body text to the tweet):

Elon Musk tweet | @elonmusk, Twitter | March 14, 2017

· YouTube (link the body text to the video; date is the video upload date):

Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up | October 25, 2009

· Print magazines:

O, The Oprah Magazine (page 124) | June 2007

The Bill Gates Interview | David Rensin, Playboy | July 1994

· Books (optional ISBN; optional link to a resource online):

Washington: A Life (page 403) | Ron Chernow, Penguin Press | 2010, ISBN 978-1-59420-266-7

· Referencing a PDF file (link the body text to the file):

Economic Well-Being of US Households [pdf] | US Federal Reserve | 2019

Certain resources may require slight adjustments.

How should reference links to files be indicated?

If you have a reference text example like the following:

SpaceX Falcon 9 User's Guide [pdf] | Jane Smith, SpaceX | March 10, 2020

which links to a PDF file on the spacex.com website, include [pdf] immediately after the reference text body (and prior to any author, publication or date text). The file type text should be lowercase.

You can see an example of this formatting on the SpaceX topic page in the references section.

Why are references noted below an answer rather than placed in the answer text?

Individual Q&As are meant to be narrow in their scope and they're also relatively short. With that in mind, it's not necessary to place the reference directly next to what it's supporting. Answers are short enough that that can be easily inferred.

It's our opinion that references in the answer text are an additional disruption to the flow of reading and are a net negative experience for the reader. Anything extra that is added to the answer text is a negative for the reading experience. Our view is that the less of that there is, the better.

The vast majority of readers will not go through the references to confirm everything they read. However the references are present nearby and obvious enough to satisfy anyone that wants to investigate.

So why do we allow links in the answer text? In-answer links are critical to the topic-to-topic linking functionality of Jittery and provide immense value.

Should hyphens or dashes be used?

In both topic titles and Q&As (the question text and the answer text), always use the common hyphen (-). Do not use the en dash (–) or em dash (—).

This is a common source of editor conflict in knowledge communities. Rather than waste a lot of energy and retrace that conflict, Jittery mandates the use of the hyphen.

There are two primary reasons for this. First: simplicity. The common keyboard hyphen is nearly universal and more readily accessible than the en dash or em dash. This is especially true on English keyboards and smartphones. Second: standardization. There are often many paths you can reasonably take to a destination, what tends to matter more is that you actually choose a path and stick to it. There is gain of efficiency acquired from standardizing and avoiding unnecessary, petty editor conflicts over style. Less time spent arguing over minutiae is a good thing.

Can I use Archive.org (Wayback Machine) links?

Feel free to liberally use archive.org links where it makes sense. For example if a previously linked webpage or resource is no longer available and the Wayback Machine has an archived copy of it.

What is the Jittery position regarding infinite noes?

Take care to avoid the infinite no trap, it's easy enough to fall into.

Infinite noes is when you start formulating Q&As with a sort of incrementing rapid fire no, no, no answer pattern.

An intentionally exaggerated example:

Does Serena Williams have 27 Grand Slam Titles? No.

Does Serena Williams have 28 Grand Slam Titles? No.

Does Serena Williams have 29 Grand Slam Titles? No.

That's an example of how you can just keep answering no to make an infinite line of Q&As that are worthless garbage.

Short, easy no answers tend (although not always) to be an indication of low value shallow Q&As.

For example:

Is Bill Gates Satan? No, Bill Gates is not Satan.

Does Bill Gates hate puppies? No, Bill Gates does not hate puppies.

Do not repeatedly try to add that manner of content to Jittery, it'll get you quickly banned.
Last edited September 24, 2020 12:06 UTC
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